American Rifleman TV is detailing the history behind Colt’s Official Police revolver in this latest “I Have This Old Gun” segment shown on Outdoor Channel. Watch the above video for details.
It was in 1836 that Samuel Colt was issued a U.S. patent to build his firearm design and factory, paving the way of the legacy brand for more than a century. Among the myriad military contracts and legacy designs produced by Colt throughout the years, the Official Police model came at a time of transition. The U.S. military adopted the semi-automatic M1911 pistol and Colt shifted focus of its revolver sales toward police contracts.
Colt’s Official Police revolver was an improvement on the Army Special model and featured a medium-size frame with double-action lockwork. The gun’s swing-out cylinder was initially chambered the .38 Spl. cartridge and .41 Long Colt, but would handle heavier loads brought to market by Smith & Wesson. The cylinder featured an unshrouded ejector rod and chambered six founds.
The Official Police can be broken into two issues, pre- and post-war production cycles. Mechanically, the gun’s remained virtually unchanged throughout the years. First issue and second issue Colt Official Police models came from the Colt Hartford, Conn., factory hand finished with rich bluing.
Myriad options left the factory throughout its production cycle, models available with barrel lengths of 2”, 4”, 5” and 6” were available and Target variants with adjustable sights made their way to Camp Perry. Round- and square-butt variants were made as well. Colt discontinued its Official Police design in 1969.